If you’ve read any of my cigar reviews on Talking Tobacco, you’re probably aware that I like bold cigars. I’m the guy who lights up a Joya de Nicaragua Antaño at 7 a.m. on an empty stomach, so strong cigars don’t scare me. That said, I don’t care for power bombs. A robust cigar needs some complexity and balance to be smokeable, and some of the newer juggernauts are loaded with spice but are so unbalanced that they won’t hold my interest. Over the last year or so, I’ve smoked a fair number of Diesels. The original Diesel is the Unholy Cocktail, a short belicoso with a dark wrapper. It’s full-bodied, but has a nice balance between the sweetness and pepperiness. It’s not particularly complex, but that’s not always important to me. Then we have Diesel Unlimited. With this series, the body is toned down a bit, but it’s much more complex, and the spice tends to move forward in the flavor. I like them both, but I wondered what would happen if the wrapper and binder from the Unholy Cocktail were applied to the filler of the Unlimited. Apparently, someone read my mind, because we now have Diesel Unlimited Maduro.
I prefer smaller ring gauges, so I opted for the d.4, which is a 4 3/4 by 52 robusto. I also enjoy the d.5 (5 1/2 by 54), but I go to the d.4 more often, so that’s what I’m reviewing. As I mentioned, what we have here is basically the core of the Diesel Unlimited, with a San Andres binder and a dark Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. I took this espresso brown robusto and cut it with a double guillotine. The pre-light aroma was rich with fermented tobacco, and the pre-light draw tasted of sweet wood and spice. The draw was free and easy, but the stick was nice and firm to the touch. I toasted the foot and took my first puff. I get notes of cedar, dark chocolate and coffee, with underlying pepper. The retrohale was distinctly spicy, but the darker notes really came to the forefront. It burned remarkably well, with a nice, straight ash, and the construction was very solid. The wrapper was dark and satiny, but doesn’t look like they applied anything to make it look that way.
About a third of the way into the cigar, the deeper and sweeter aspects of the flavor pushed the spice into the background, but it was always there, and a hint of something like allspice weaved its way in and out. It burned nice and cool, and the ash stayed even, while hanging on tenaciously. The retrohale at this point was dominated by sweet wood, and the bite of pepper had faded somewhat. This is a cigar that has a very ‘meaty’ character to it. It has flavor elements similar to a good steak that’s been coated in a sweet and spicy dry rub and nicely grilled.
The last third was very robust, with more of the pepper asserting itself, but the sweetness also intensified, and the chocolate/coffee flavors were very noticeable. I noticed that it could get a little warm at this point if I drew a little too hard, so I had to make it a point to slow down a bit. The strength was very evident, but not overpowering, leading to a pleasant relaxing feeling. As I approached the end, I felt very satisfied, and looked forward to the next one.
Diesel Unlimited Maduro comes in the aforementioned robusto sizes, and is also available as a 6 by 60 gordo, a 7 by 58 presidente, and a 5 3/4 by 56 torpedo. Best of all, for a true premium cigar, they sell for as little as $3.50 a stick, so if you want a rich and zesty cigar that’s well-made for a bargain price, you can’t go wrong here.